In the first game of a back-to-back situation, the winless Blue Jackets will attempt to defend Nationwide Arena in a matchup against a struggling Toronto Maple Leafs squad. This is the first time both teams will meet in the regular season, and the Jackets have changed their lineup ups bit. David Clarkson is expected to debut against the team that traded his massive salary in an attempt to revive his injury-rittled career in Toronto and Columbus. The defense has also been redone in an attempt to improve Sergei Bobrovsky's confidence. For the defense, Cody Goloubef is making his season debut, meaning Kevin Connuaton is a healthy scratch tonight. Goloubef signed a two year deal this offseason, and it starts tonight for the twenty-seven year old.
Columbus Blue Jackets
1. Brandon Saad- Ryan Johansen- Nick Folingo (C)
2. Boone Jenner (A)- Brandon Dubinsky (A)- Cam Atkinson
3. Scott Hartnell- William Karlsson- Rene Borque
4. Matt Calvert- Gregory Campbell- David Clarkson
1. Jack Johnson- David Savard
2. Ryan Murray- Cody Goloubef
3. Fedor Tyutin- Dalton Prout
1. Sergei Bobrovsky
2. Curtis McElhinney
Scratches: Kevin Connuaton, Kerby Rychel, Jared Boll
Injuries: Alex Wennberg (concussion), Josh Anderson (eye)
Toronto Maple Leafs
James van Riemsdyk- Tyler Bozak- Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthais- Nazem Kadri- Brad Boyes
Michael Grabner- Peter Holland- Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
Daniel Winnik- Nick Spaling- Joffery Lupul
Jake Gardiner- Dion Phaneuf
Morgan Reilly- Matt Hunwick
Scott Harrington- Roman Polak
Things To Watch Tonight
1. Revenge- With the Jackets winless in four games, expect the Jackets to punish a weak Maple Leafs team throughout the matchup. This team is ready to move on from the first four games of the regular season and what better ready to show it against one of the league's worst teams in Toronto.
2. Bobs- Earlier this week, Sergei Bobrovsky had some surprising words in the way he has "zero confidence". Facing a team with not the greatest goaltending in the world and a team with weak offense may help Bobrovsky regain some confidence.
3. The New Guys In the Lineup- With David Clarkson returning from injury and Cody Goloubef watching from the press box, get ready to see these guys try to help get this team back on the right track.
4. Rene Borque- He looked really good on Wednesday against Ottawa, despite the loss. He was one of the few Jackets that seemed to be in the zone that tough evening.
5. Wild Bill- With Alex Wennberg out of the lineup, William Karlsson has stepped into the third line center role nicely alongside veteran Scott Hartnell. Karlsson has also done well on the penalty kill for the Jackets.
6. The Captain- Nick Folingo seemed to be tense and stressed out and not calm. As leader, he needs to keep himself under control, the team under control, and produce with trying to do everything for this team because he can not do everything.
7. Joey- In contrast to Folingo, Ryan Johansen has been calm, under control, and confident. That is great to a young kid to not be all worried, but the slow starts in Columbus have been continuous and the Jackets' brass has been displeased over the repetation of climbing up the standings late in the year. They want to get going now, and even though Johansen has produced, more can be done by him and everyone else.
Enjoy the games tonight everyone. More to come...